Could cartoon Anastasia hold the key to Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ biggest mystery?

Hear us out on this bizarrest of fan theories

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We hear a lot of fan theories here at RadioTimes.com, and some are loopier than others, but a new idea about the true identity of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Big Bad Supreme Leader Snoke recently put forward by one redditor really takes the space-biscuit.

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Well, the suggested identity itself isn’t that unusual – the aptly named ReturnOfBobaFett thinks Andy Serkis’ Snoke is original trilogy cult character Boba Fett, as many others have previously suggested – but his reasoning is so bizarre and complex that it’s almost convincing.

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Basically, it all comes down to 1997 animated musical Anastasia. Yes, the one about the Russian Revolution where Rasputin’s magic convinced the citizens of Moscow to butcher the Romanovs, which looks like a Disney film but isn’t.

Anyway, as ReturnOfBobaFett points out, there are striking similarities between the plots of the two films, especially if you assume (as he does) that Daisy Ridley’s Rey is definitely the long-lost daughter of Han Solo and Leia (Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher):

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Quite a coincidence, right? George Lucas’ son, who has previously said he knows the direction of the new Star Wars trilogy, certainly seems to think so…

But you’re probably wondering, what does this have to do with Boba Fett? Sure, Rey could be a lost daughter like Anastasia, interacting with her family without them realising – but why would a side-character who died in Return of the Jedi be involved?

It’s a good question, which the theory goes on to try and answer. Basically, it argues that the way Snoke acts in The Force Awakens (tempting away Adam Driver’s Ben Solo, etc) implies some kind of personal hatred of Han Solo, which would certainly match up with how Boba left him – even before Han knocked him into the Sarlaac pit to face agonising death, Boba seemed to have it in for the smuggler, so if he was to return (perhaps after escaping his death offscreen) he might be looking for revenge.

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If The Force Awakens is Anastasia, that makes a scarred, vengeful Boba Fett the Rasputin – the shadowy figure looking to wreak revenge on the family that wronged him by chasing after their surviving daughter. As the theory goes on…

Piling on the evidence, the theory also points out that some of Kylo Ren’s Knights of Ren (only briefly glimpsed in Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens, below) appear to be wearing similar armour to the Mandalorian warrior race, as used by Boba Fett (and his clone “father” Jango Fett in the prequels).

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Also, you know, if you really want to push it MandaloRIAN could share some etymology with the Knights of REN.

To conclude from the reddit post:

Now, there are a few things counting against this theory (which you can read in its entirety, including some more examples), here. Most of this evidence is pretty circumstantial and probably slanted with a slight bias given the writer’s reddit name, and a lot of the points expressed as certainties seem a little flimsy. For example, after 30 more years flying around, is it REALLY that implausible that Han Solo would have made many more bitter enemies who’d want to turn his son against him? He only knew Boba for a couple of years, if that.

Also, the filmmakers have said Snoke is an entirely new character (though JJ Abrams has a track record of white lies in this department, after claiming Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness), and even from a viewers’ perspective you can see in how they behave and talk Boba Fett and Snoke couldn’t really be more different. That’s not to say that Snoke couldn’t have a secret identity, of course – it could be that he is some figure we’ve seen or heard of before – but revealing him to once have been a mostly-silent side-character without much of a personality, who doesn’t even dress, act or look the same any more, would not be the great twist many are hoping for. It would just be a bit pointless.

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Most damningly of all, Boba was never seen to have any affinity with the Force whatsoever, and while technically he could have picked something up in the interim between trilogies it seems extremely unlikely that he would have developed the kind of expertise that would make a skilled Jedi like Luke Skywalker pause in his tracks. Frankly, the whole thing is a bit dodgy.

But we still have to applaud the audacity of a theory that combines mid-90s animation with modern sci-fi for a truly ostentatious theory attempt, and for alerting us to one crucial fact.

In the end, Disney did sort of end up making Anastasia after all.

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Star Wars Episode VIII will be released in December 2017